Whether impactful, clinical or offbeat, the artists' view of the ecological transition is one of the strong trends of New Worlds. Focus on three projects.

Today, the ecological transition is on everyone’s lips. It is also present, as we know less, in the eyes of artists, who see environmental issues from a different perspective, often sharper, always disruptive. « Among the trends of New Worlds, the great subjects of society are present, starting with those related to ecology, most artists are sensitive to a kind of interdependence between artistic creation and living Bernard Blistène, Chair of the New Worlds Selection Committee, confirmed in the interview that he granted us in July on this device.

Striking, clinical or offbeat, it is this look at environmental perspectives that we wanted to highlight in this overview of «New Worlds» projects. With three artists, Sabine Mirlesse, Dorian Étienne and Anna Solal, whose work will be presented soon. The first reveals the poetry at the top of the Puy de Dôme, the second alert with its «tapestries testimonies» on the dangers incurred by certain territories in Brittany, the third, finally, invites the baroque to the castle of Oiron with an organic and symbolic work.  

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes: Sabine Mirlesse, a Land Art project at the top of the Puy de Dôme


« This is my biggest project », says Sabine Mirlesse about Crystalline Thresholds, Doors of Frost, a title in English, a second in French. The young Franco-American photographer, holder of a master’s degree from the prestigious Parsons School of Design of New York, did not want to choose between his two heart tongues. We see a subtle echo to the intimate dimension that the installation of Land Art created for New Worlds conceals.

It all starts during the first lockdown. Sabine Mirlesse is at her grandmother’s house, helping her to store things, when she discovers a mysterious ' black box containing silver film These include photos of “ frost on aircraft wings in the mountains ” that love the young photographer’s desire. “ Some were blurry, some very beautiful », she remembers, without yet unraveling the mystery. Then she discovers a study carried out by her grandfather at the top of the Puy de Dôme during the winter 1936-1937 entitled Contribution to the study of icing. These photos were simply used to document his research ».


From there, everything follows one another. Once she has the freedom to come and go, she hastens to go to the Puy de Dôme. The weather station, which his grandfather’s work has made known to him, still exists. At this station, he says, we keep sucking clouds in bottles », she says; the peak is the first peak that the winds of the Atlantic Ocean reach; finally, there are the remains of a Gallo-Roman temple, the temple of Mercury, and especially a portico. « It’s all starting to shake in my head », says this volcano enthusiast: « They fascinate me because they represent a geological threshold, the boundary between the visible and the invisible The idea came from a Land Art installation – the first of his career – with passages. “ But how can such a project be carried out? » «New Worlds» gives him the opportunity.  

In this case, seven portals are installed according to the pattern of the constellation of Pleiades and designed to stimulate ice and frost formations due to the micro climate, which grow and then melt with the arrival of spring. « The portals are made of recycled aluminum in reference to aircraft wings. Two forms are inspired by these same wings, a third refers to the Temple of Mercury. For the four beacons, I had in mind a mountain cairn, a dowser’s rod, the lost caduceus of Mercury” said the young artist, “ grateful and moved ” that “New Worlds” offers him the opportunity to carry out such a project. The inauguration of the facility will take place on December 3.

And photography in all this? « The project began with photos of my grandfather. Today, it takes the form of an ephemeral installation. Tomorrow he’ll live on photography ” rejoices the young artist. “ It is because a work of documentation was carried out that we know that some installations of Land Art existed. I will spend the winter photographing these portals, this work will then be exhibited ».

Please note: Crystalline Thresholds, Doors of Frost will be inaugurated on December 3, 2022

Brittany: Dorian Étienne, tapestries-testimonies on territories at risk

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After the Puy de Dôme, direction Brittany, where theth young designer Dorian Étienne, graduate of the Boulle school, realizes, from satellite views, the tapestries, which are large-scale testimonies presenting a state of the place at today’s date of territories at risk ». This is the project Country’s Ages. The choice of Brittany is not by chance: Dorian Étienne is deeply attached to this region where he lived for twelve years. As for the places of reception, three in all (the Abbey of Saint-Maurice in Finistère, the Abbey of Beauport in the Côtes d'Armor, finally, the landscaped high school of Kerplouz in Morbihan) and the selected landscapes, they owe everything to the help and expertise of the Conservatoire du littoral.

For the realization of these tapestries, the young designer, fervent defender of humanist and eco-responsible design, uses local resources. « From the tinctorial plants of the local flora, we managed to have a wide range of colors », welcomes the one who, for the occasion, called on dyers, who themselves have formed a partnership with the Mobilier national. Tapestries, colour charts… we are indeed in the core business of the prestigious establishment. Another specificity: participants are invited to try the technique of «tufting» and then intervene throughout the duration of the realization According to Dorian Étienne, the goal is “ that they learn to [s]es sides » and « participate in highlighting their territory ».


To date, the first of the three tapestries, that of Finistère, has been made. « It brought together fifteen participants and required 800 hours of work of which 450 of tufting, 22 kg of wool were used ", says Dorian Étienne, who has every reason to be satisfied: All generations were represented, participants felt comfortable and helpful. In addition, people who did not know each other met ». For the restitution phase, a travelling exhibition is already planned which, apart from the presentation of the tapestries, will highlight the participatory dimension of the project through a film, and local materials. Moreover, ' a large view of the same site in fifty years will be projected ” to raise awareness of the climate dimension. This project, “ which would never have existed without the accompaniment of New Worlds », Dorian Étienne, sees him « as a springboard »: tapestries testimonies in other territories may well see the light of day in the coming years.  

Please note: Countries'Ages is under construction

Nouvelle-Aquitaine: Anna Solal, an organic cabinet of curiosities at the Château d'Oiron

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At castle of Oiron in Deux-Sèvres, the young plastic artist Anna Solal, whose works are produced by assembling objects of various origins, presents, from 22 October to 29 January, Quivering. In this unique and enchanting place that houses the collection of contemporary art; Curios & Mirabilia designed on the model of the cabinet of curiosities in reference to the art collection of Claude Gouffier, great squire of Henri II, carte blanche is given punctually to artists whose works cultivate what could readily be described as ' weird handsome The recent interventions of Mario d’Souza and Dario Ghibaudo, which, thanks to the National Monuments Centre, are now joined by Anna Solal.     


« This is my first experience with this type of device » comments, delighted, the young woman, graduate of the National School of Visual Arts of La Cambre in Belgium and boarder this year of the Villa Medici. His works will be compared with those of Daniel Spoerri, Body in pieces, and from the 16th century painted gallery recounting the Trojan War and the adventures of Aeneas. We will see an arena, anything but warlike, on the contrary very meditative », but also « glass bees, gas plates over which flowers grow, or a labyrinthine sunflower… Ernst Jünger, Sylvia Plath, Edmond Jabès… the references are numerous, of which the young woman speaks with passion, around this project on nature which also incorporates drawings. Glass bees are an explicit tribute to the eponymous novel by Ernst Jünger. « I wanted to recreate these bees, imagine them in a transparent way », explains the young artist.

If nature is reduced to its wild and vulnerable dimension, thate disintegration is a motive found in each work, there is, at the same time, always something of the order of life in the encounter between matter, form, and color ", says Solal. However, there is no question of the young woman giving a turnkey interpretation. " The more polyphonic the work, the better! A text by writer Olivier Prada accompanies the project.

Note: the exhibition of Anna Solal’s creation, Quivering, will take place at the Château d'Oiron, from 22 October to 29 January